Politics & Government

Early voting surges in Middle Georgia

This year’s race for the White House that will end with either the first black president or the first female vice president has captured the attention of midstate voters, who are flocking to the polls in high numbers during early voting.

While history will be made with the election of Democrat Barack Obama or Republican John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin, history also could be made with turnout.

Early vote tallies have been strong across Middle Georgia.

In Bibb, Jones, Houston, Monroe and Peach counties combined, more than 35,000 people have weighed in on the presidential race and a host of local races.

As of Wednesday morning, 17,569 of Bibb County’s 81,659 registered voters had cast their ballots, Macon-Bibb County Elections Supervisor Elaine Carr said.

"It doesn’t even compare (to previous presidential elections)," Carr said. In the past, early voting lasted just one week, but this year it started in late September and ends Oct. 31.

"We are doing almost 1,000 every day, and it will get stronger and stronger every day," she said.

The longest wait time in Bibb is about 30 minutes.

"It's really not that bad," Carr said. "You're going to stand in line longer than that at Wal-Mart."

Carr expects “a good 80 percent plus” of Bibb’s registered voters to vote either early or on Nov. 4.